Customer Success Story: The Jean Coutu Group

The Jean Coutu Group trusts FedEx® for delivery of pharmaceuticals to retail locations in Canada.

FedEx utilized a collaborative approach with the Jean Coutu Group to meet its current transportation needs and to create a long-term strategic relationship.

About The Jean Coutu Group
The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. operates a network of 353 franchised drugstores in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario (under the banners of PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique and PJC Santé Beauté) and employs more than 16,000 people. The company holds a signifi cant interest in Rite Aid Corporation, an American drugstore chain with more than 4,900 locations in 31 states and in the District of Columbia.

Business Need
The Jean Coutu Group distribution centres in Longueuil, Québec and Hawkesbury, Ontario provide its franchised retail locations with just-in-time delivery of pharmaceutical and personal care products. In order to meet the needs of individual pharmacies and to avoid spoilage of perishable pharmaceuticals, the Jean Coutu Group requires reliable, overnight delivery service to its retail locations. Having a transportation provider it could trust with sensitive shipments was paramount.

Solution
FedEx spent time fostering a collaborative relationship with the Jean Coutu Group to develop a long term strategy to support the company's supply chain operations. Thanks to the fl exibility afforded to FedEx staff by the corporate mission to go beyond, the national account team was able to provide a customized solution that met all of the requirements set forth by the Jean Coutu Group.

Developing a Business Relationship Based on Trust
One of the many things the FedEx account team did to help build the relationship and earn the trust of the Jean Coutu Group was to organize tours of FedEx facilities for the logistics team so they could see fi rst-hand how its packages would be handled.

FedEx technology also played a role in earning the trust of this valued client. Package status tracking on fedex.ca offers shipment visibility from pickup to delivery, enabling the Jean Coutu Group to provide its retailers with a superior customer experience. Knowing that its shipment locations or status can be determined with just a few clicks of the mouse, or a package could be easily traced with a quick call to FedEx customer service provided peace of mind.

Delivering Flexibility and Customization
Shipments leaving the distribution centre in Hawkesbury are not available until later in the day, past the normal cut-off times for the area observed by FedEx and other transportation providers serving the region. FedEx was able to develop a customized pickup schedule for the Jean Coutu Group, in order to meet the distribution centre's needs.

The Jean Coutu Group was provided with a single point of contact for customer service. This dedicated customer service agent visited the facilities to ensure they understood the distribution centre's operations and shipping needs in detail in order to be fully equipped to provide exceptional service and quickly resolve any issues that might arise.

FedEx further helped the Jean Coutu Group logistics team by integrating the FedEx Ship Manager electronic shipping tool into the existing logistics system used by the distribution centres. This not only made shipping with FedEx easier, but helped increase overall effi ciencies in the supply chain.

FedEx also provided support for the Jean Coutu Group retail network. To facilitate the transition to using FedEx as a transportation provider, the FedEx sales and marketing teams created co-branded marketing materials to announce the relationship to the franchisees. Special pricing was also extended to the retail franchisees for their own shipments.

Results
The Jean Coutu Group can relax knowing that its pharmaceutical products are being delivered on time. "FedEx helped us get the right product, to the right place, at the right time," said Michel Larivière, Director of Transport for the Jean Coutu Group. Thanks to the consistently reliable delivery service FedEx provides, the company receives more orders from its retailers, contributing to its bottom line. "Working with FedEx has been very easy, Everyone at FedEx whom we have dealt with has provided exceptional customer service."

The relationship the two companies have built together is the real success that will provide results for years to come. "Every time I get a call, an e-mail, or simply run into a Jean Coutu employee, I always have the feeling that we are in a win-win relationship," said Jean-Nicolas Robert, the FedEx national account executive who manages the Jean Coutu Group relationship.

As the marketplace evolves, both companies will continue to work together to address changing needs "There are other opportunities for us to provide value-add consulting services, and leverage the services of other FedEx operating companies to help the Jean Coutu Group with business development, maximization, and ultimately cost savings," said Mr. Robert.

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